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WIIXIA3I  VON   HUIIBOLDT.                   327
during this time, and Hnmboldt states that she "be-
haved with extraordinary calmness and self-possession,
He afterwards feared a sudden outbreak of the re-
pressed evil, but it did not appear, and all things
would have gone on as before in HranboldJf s house if
the loss could have been so easily forgotten. A friend
of Humboldt's writes, on the 2nd September 1803y
cc The sadness which reigns in this formerly so merry
house, the only one I frequent, and whose inmates are
the most amiable people 1 know, has quite depressed
my spirits.5*
Schiller was also much affected by Ms friend's Ioss3
and announced it at once to Goethe.    He says in Ms
letter," From the inclosure you. will see that our
friend Humboldt has been sorely afflicted.    Write to
himy if you can, a word of sympathy.    I pity him
much, for this child was the most hopeful of them
all/' On the 12th September he writes to the afflicted
father :  " In this sad event I can do nothing but share
your  grief.    You  were justified  in   cherishing  the
brightest hopes.    Everything was combined to pro-
mise a Sappy life to the boy, and now all these hopes
are violently destroyed.    Like you, no great affliction
has hitherto visited me? and I cannot refrain, on this
occasion, to look into my own heart, and fancy the
possible loss of those dear to me.    "With my failing
health, I had attained to the firm conviction that I
should never be so situated,, but your loss, my dear
friend^ convinces me that aU these calculations are
deceptive/'    He advises him at the same time, if the
climate should be too trying for his wife and children,
rather to set aside all other considerations, as he was
always master of Ms own fate.
Hereupon Humboldt breaks out anew into ecxm.-
plaints: "The loss I have suffered/' he replies^on
the 22nd October, cc is ever present to my unagHia&o^
and nothing can compensate for it. Even in1 tJse first
moments, dearest friend, the pain did not deprive me
of mental clearness, or of a certain calmness* But a
sadness and longing overpower me since that unfor-